The film will premiere on HBO Max just in time for Halloween.

By Georgia Slater
October 02, 2020
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Get your broomsticks ready!

On Friday, Warner Bros. Pictures released the first trailer for its upcoming Halloween flick, The Witches, based on Roald Dahl's classic 1983 book of the same name.

The Witches, which is skipping theaters and heading straight to HBO Max later this month, is about a young boy who stumbles upon a secret group of witches and, with the help of his loving grandmother, tries to stop their evil plan to turn all the world’s children into mice.

The Robert Zemeckis-directed film stars Anne Hathaway as the sly Grand High Witch and Octavia Spencer as the sweet but persistent grandmother who will try and take down Hathaway and her coven of witches.

In the trailer, Jahzir Kadeem Bruno stars as the young boy (with adult narration from Chris Rock) who moves in with his grandmother in rural Alabama in 1967.

When the town's hotel manager, played by Hathaway's The Devil Wears Prada costar Stanley Tucci, unwittingly hosts a group of spooky-yet-glamorous witches for a convention, the young boy and his grandma have to stop them before their conniving plan to get rid of all children can go any further.

Along with directing, Zemeckis (Death Becomes Her) produced the film and co-wrote the screenplay with Kenya Barris and Guillermo del Toro.

The Witches was last brought to the big screen in 1990 when Warner Bros. released its first adaption starring Angelica Houston in Hathaway's role.

Hathaway recently told PEOPLE that playing an evil witch required a lot of prep work.

"The Grand High Witch was a total collaboration between costumes, hair and make-up, the writers, my dialect coach, the effects department, stunts, [director] Bob Zemeckis and myself," she said. "She is such a weirdo - so silly and over the top - and everyone had to work together to be on the same page so it felt big and entertaining but never too much."

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HBO MAX

Spencer said she also had a blast making the film.

"Grandma was such a fun character to play because of her personality, expansive knowledge of witches and her compassion. She's just the type of person you want on your side if you have to battle witches!"

The Witches premieres on HBO Max on Oct. 22.

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